In an effort to make its transit services more accessible to the community, the city of Glendale is preparing an overhaul of 21 bus stops.
The project, which will cost up to $160,817 and be facilitated by Lincoln Constructors Inc., is expected to be complete in December. Construction was approved as a consent item at the September 10 council meeting.
According to the council agenda, the 21 stops face varying accessibility obstacles and are not compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements. Some stops are located in dirt, some have no sidewalks, some lack concrete landing pads and others have landscaping that separates the roadway and sidewalk.
Construction calls for various improvements such as extending walkways from bus stops to intersections and connecting detached sidewalks to existing or new pads.
“It’s not to go out and add nice new bus shelters and amenities. It’s to make them compliant and accessible,” said Kevin Link, the city’s transit administrator.
Link said the bus stops are noncompliant because they were in place before the ADA went into effect in 1990. And while the stops are not federally mandated to be brought up to compliance, according to Link, he said the goal as funding becomes available is to make all stops compliant anyway.
“Any new bus stop that we create or put in must be completely compliant with ADA,” he added.
Over the coming months, construction shouldn’t affect bus riders, Link said. He doesn’t expect any to be rerouted.
“There’s a couple that are a little bit more involved and it’s going to require a little bit more time to do the work, so if we have to move the stop the contractor will put a sign — ‘bus stop moved’ — and then they’ll put a temporary bus stop either farther east, west, north or south from the location where the construction is taking place,” he explained.
Funding for the project was secured from a Federal Transit Administration grant in 2016. But the 21 stops are just part of a much larger plan, according to Link. The city of Glendale applied for a second grant from the Maricopa Association of Governments (MAG) to improve another 10 bus stops.
As Link explained, MAG allocates $2 million per year for cities and transit agencies to bring bus stops to compliance. Estimating that funding at around $168,000, he said he took that measure to the Glendale City Council last month.
“I think we’re going to use Valley Metro’s on-call contractor to do these 10 stops,” Link said, explaining that the project was put out to bid for contractors but not accepted.
“I’m going to work with Valley Metro on these 10, for them to oversee the construction part of the project basically.”
Once all 31 bus stops are knocked out, however, Link said additional sites throughout the city must be looked at. This includes allocating funding.
“But we’re getting it down there. Knocking these 31 locations out will really put a dent in the number of stops that aren’t compliant,” Link said.